Jul 14 2011, 9:22am
Quite a significant one, but not the best of the dwarves we've seen so far (Oin and Gloin still press my traditionalist buttons).
Well there's no denying it's an improvement on Fili and Kili
Bombur looks fairly cool- certainly in terms of his face he's much like i would expect, with the 'beard' being more two vast mutton-chops allowing the window to see his double chin. I think i would have preferred that his long plait would be cut in half giving him two long 'walrus' type plaits rather than the single 'string of onions' that you see on cartoons of frenchmen. His costume though doesn't impress me nearly so much. Green is not a colour that has been particularly associated with middle-earth dwarves (being an earthy sort i would have preferred an ochre or something a bit more on those lines). His 'The King and I' style trousers complete with cummerbund don't do it for me either, and personally i would have preferred a few more layers (the trademark of Ngila Dickson's costumes).
By comparison i'm very keen on Bofur's costume but it's a bit of a pity he doesn't fill it out as well as a dwarf should. I did pick up on the point Marillaraina makes that the proportions really aren't that dwarvish whatsoever- all the mass is towards the extremities as opposed to being focused around the trunk and the head. He does remind me of someone, i'm not sure exactly who but i want to say Richard Hammond. The hat i actually don't mind in itself, i just wish his head filled it a bit better. It's plain though given Bifur's injury that Bofur will be the 'voice' of the group- a relationship i'll talk about with....
Bifur. Bifur is a very traditional dwarf at first sight, lots of hair, lots of beard, round bodied (his head is still a little bit thinner than is traditional for the LotR dwarf proportions). His halberd is a lovely piece of kit and i do like the differences in the shades of his hair- it gives him a nicely dishevelled, inconsistent look. Of course the major cause for concern is the piece of ironmongery lodged in his bonce. I'm kind of half and half on it at the moment since it does suddenly give him a character all of his own- he's the bright young star of the mining world, the most effective foreman there ever was until the day of his accident. Now he's a slurring, twitching babbler, often completely unaware of the going's on but occasionally given to windows of complete clarity and lucidity, almost a Rowley Berkin type character only brain-damaged rather than drunk. The relationship between him and his more mentally agile cousin Bofur (presumably Bifur is an only child without parents so has to rely on his cousins as his nearest next of kin) is almost like that between Anthony La Paglia and Robbie Coltrane's characters in the final episodes of 'Frasier'- you can just imagine Bifur spouting something that sounds like gibberish to everyone and then Bofur translating 'That's right Bifur, there is a route round Mirkwood to the north, why can't we use that?' On the other hand, i'm not sure whether such a visceral piece of damage is quite 'Tolkienian'- it's very PJ and i'm sure it'll work great on film but i can't imagine it's the kind of thing Tolkien would write, particularly if it makes a character imbecilic. Compared to the sins of PJ in other places though, for one minor dwarf i'll happily accept it (i can always 'airbrush' it out of my mental readings if it gets too much).
So yes, i'm not quite Gloin with dwarven enthusiasm with this bunch, but at least they're a good lot of characters.